Rumor: Timberwolves tried to pull off 3-way trade with Rockets, Hawks as precursor to D’Angelo Russell trade
The Minnesota Timberwolves have explored several avenues to acquire Golden State Warriors guard D’Angelo Russell, including a three-team trade with the Houston Rockets and the Atlanta Hawks that would facilitate the assets necessary to make the deal.
The proposed trade would have sent Robert Covington to Houston, Clint Capela to Atlanta, and Brooklyn’s 2020 first-round pick from Atlanta to Minnesota, an asset the Timberwolves fully intended to use in a trade for Russell, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.
The Warriors declined the proposed offer, which would have included the Nets’ first-rounder and the Timberwolves’ own first-round pick in 2020 — putting the three-way talks on pause.
Golden State has been determined to keep Russell past the deadline to experiment with him playing alongside Stephen Curry — a chunk of 15-20 games that should provide enough sample data to determine if he fits within the Warriors’ offensive system.
Russell and Curry have played under 100 minutes together in the four games that Curry was healthy enough to see the floor, soon breaking his left hand against the Phoenix Suns late in October.
Barring a Godfather offer, the Warriors will be reluctant to move Russell at the deadline, considering that any offers at the deadline are likely to still be there in the offseason, should they decide to move him.
The Timberwolves are clearly on a bender for Russell, having pitched him to coming to The Twin Cities in the summer, even orchestrating a helicopter ride with owner Glen Taylor before all aboard read the reports of his intentions to sign with Golden State.
As for the other parts of this proposed deal, the Hawks have been after a center upgrade like Capela for a while, and it looks like Houston is really trying to move the big man in order for help elsewhere. In this deal, that help would come in the form of Covington, who’s highly coveted on the trade market.